Faculty Profile

J Mark Ruhl

Glenn E. and Mary L. Todd Professor of Political Science (1975)

Contact Information

on sabbatical Spring 2017


Denny Hall Room 207


He specializes in comparative politics. His research centers on the politics of democratization in contemporary Latin America with a special emphasis on civil-military relations.


  • B.A., Dickinson College, 1970
  • M.A., Syracuse University, 1972
  • Ph.D., 1975

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

LALC 101 Intro Latin American Studies
A multi-disciplinary, introductory course designed to familiarize students with the regions through a study of their history, economics, politics, literature, and culture in transnational and comparative perspective. The purpose of the course is to provide a framework that will prepare students for more specialized courses in particular disciplines and specific areas of LALC studies. Required of all LALC majors.

AFST 220 African Government & Politics
Cross-listed with POSC 252-01.An introduction to the politics of contemporary, sub-Saharan Africa. After analyzing the historical and socio-economic context of African politics, the course examines a number of contrasting political systems in depth. The final section of the course discusses the current problems of South Africa from an international perspective.

POSC 252 African Government & Politics
Cross-listed with AFST 220-07.

Spring 2016

POSC 251 Latin Amer Govt & Politics
Cross-listed with LALC 251-01.

LALC 251 Latin Amer Govt & Politics
Cross-listed with POSC 251-01.

POSC 390 Compar Political Corruption
The comparative political corruption seminar will focus on embezzlement, bribery, and other abuses of public office for private material gain. After a general introduction to the subject (definition, measurement, consequences), we will investigate why the level of political corruption varies so widely from country to country (from endemic in Nigeria to almost non-existent in Singapore). Six case studies (United States, Israel, Italy, China, Russia, India, Angola) will help us to isolate the most important factors that explain this variation. The seminar will conclude by considering alternative reform strategies for reducing corruption. Readings will include Robert Klitgaard's classic book "Controlling Corruption," Chinua Achebe's novel of political corruption in a new nation, "No Longer at Ease," and other texts.